Fire alarm system yet to be installed in trains
New Delhi: The fire in Tamil Nadu Express was the fourth such incident since last year but there are no effective measures including installation of fire and smoke detection alarms in trains.
The fire claimed 32 lives including six women and three children.
Though the Railways launched a pilot project installing fire alarm system in Bhubaneswar Rajdhani two years ago, the system could not be replicated in other trains.
However, since the system gives false alarm even if passengers smoke in coaches, some modifications are required.
The technical specification of the fire alarm system is being reviewed and some modification is in the process on the basis of the initial trial report, said sources in Railways.
It costs about Rs 35 lakh to install the fire alarm system in a train.
On steps taken by Railways to check recurrence of fire mishaps, officials said several measures were being adopted including fire retardant furnishing materials in coaches.
There are also provisions for installing fire barrier and thermic lock in vestibule doors to delay the spread of fire. Fire retardant cables and multi-tier electrical protection systems are also being provided to prevent incidents of fire due to electrical defects.
Three coaches of Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express caught fire near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh on April 18, 2011. The coaches were removed from the train, carrying nearly 900 passengers, and the fire was put out and no passenger was injured.
New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express' generator coach caught fire near outskirts in New Delhi Railway Station in July, 2011. However, no one was injured.
Seven persons were burnt to death in November, 2011 when coach number B1 of Howrah-Dehradun express train caught fire. Later, the fire spread to coach B2. Both coaches were badly burnt.